Friday, December 4, 2015

Stuff you didn't know

376 Brier graves were moved.
I don't have a date on this 1966 article but it reveals that the relocation of Sims Cemetery was not automatic. The federal Corps of Engineers said that 30 graves would need to be moved, but that the rest of the cemetery wouldn't be endangered by the lake itself.

Except that it wouldn't be accessible.

That news was good enough for Fairfield, it appeared.

About 100 residents gathered one evening at the Methodist Church and voted 36-27 to leave the graveyard where it was.

Ambrose Banning, president of the cemetery's association and township trustee, said the vote would stand.

About 600 graves were included.

Corps officials warned the residents that the cemetery would be cut off from public access, surrounded by a state park and the lake itself.

Plus, sin of all sins, a 3,500-foot beach was planned in front of the graveyard, and a boat ramp was in the works as well.

The Fairfielders were told that a 700-acre park would surround the Sims Cemetery and would be owned and operated by the state of Indiana, according to Corps official David French.

French affirmed that the park "could exist with the cemetery in its present location but he questioned whether the cemetery could exist with the park."

The Corps predicted "as many as 12,000 people would be using the area on a given Sunday in the summer."

"The possibility of a new Sims one mile east of Fairfield, adjacent to New Fairfield, was discussed. However, the vote turned down the chances of it being established. This location is on the Sherwood farm, in an area owned by the Corps. Since this appears to be the final word, (Corps official Edward) Grigsby said the report would be sent to officials of the Corps for future determination."

It's not clear when the town changed its mind.

Sims was moved to join Brier and other graveyards in the new plot near New Fairfield.


The Brookville Democrat published, on Oct. 7, 1965, the following Fairfield news item. Its author is not identified.

"Fairfield is celebrating its 150th anniversary this month. How? Properties are going back to their original owners, the federal government. For what purpose? The Brookville reservoir on the east fork of the Whitewater River."


The Richmond newspaper, through the vigilant work of Mayme Cushing, was robust in its coverage of the land sales in Fairfield in the summer of 1966.

Fairfield Methodist Church sold for $23,900 (plus $8,475 for the parsonage)
Fairfield school was bought for $21,500, though the building was officially owned by the Brookville Metropolitan School Corp.


The Democrat, reporting on March 7, 1963:

"Once again Brookville and this area was threatened by a major flood but the levee held and the rain stopped before there was a repeat of the disaster of 1959.

"As in any high water, there was an immeasurable amount of material damage but the biggest toll this time was the loss of sleep and worry of those in the affected area. Certainly there was very little sleep by any resident of the Valley on Monday night as the water inches up to the flood stage and crested before overflowing into the valley area of our town.

"This apparently was another warning that something must be done here in the way of flood control and it is gratifying to know that considerable along those lines have been accomplished during the past four years.

"The Civil Defense unit came out of Monday's near disaster with flying colors."

-- Raymond Everett

That week in Fairfield, a group opposed to the reservoir drew up a petition:

"We are citizens who wish to voice our disapproval of the proposed reservoir on the East Fork of the Whitewater river."

It kinda depended on which end of the river you fished.


The Cincinnati Post-Times Star reported in mid-December 1966 that "grading of streets for the new Fairfield town site has begun by Jackson Construction Co. of Greensburg on the 73-acre tract purchased by Fairfield Redevelopment Inc."

That's considerably smaller than initial plans suggested in terms of the town's eventual size, by about a third.

About 36 acres each had been owned by Carl Huber and Herschel Klein.

"About 2.5 miles of streets are to be ready for travel by spring to permit lot owners to begin construction of residences. Approximately 20 lots have been sold in the town site.

"Officers of Fairfield Redevelopment plan to use available wells at the town site for the community water system and finance the project themselves. (So much for county water.)

"A community sewerage system also is in the final design stages by Sieco Inc., engineers of Columbus and Madison. A Farmers Home Administration grant will be sought."

There was ongoing debate about the definition of "streets" in relation to New Fairfield. Making it up as they went along was the standard agenda.

The streets received their first gravel in 1972 -- 5 years after they were graded.

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